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Using MS Word 2010, I need to print a 'peak' symbol, which is a circumflex accent on top of any letter (not only vowels), something like this :

^
s 

Is there a way to do it without using the equation editor ?

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For as far as I knnow, you can't except with the equation editor or by inserting symbols. –  Djerry May 2 '12 at 9:45

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Type first the letter, then type U+302 and hit Alt X (i.e. press X while keeping the Alt key pressed down). The part U+ may be omitted if the letter is not in the range A–F or X.

This will put U+0302 COMBINING CIRCUMFLEX ACCENT after the letter. In rendering, it will appear as a character placed above the preceding character, something like this (I’m assuming your browser can deal with this): v̂.

Word 2007 can handle such situations mostly OK, selecting the placement of the circumflex according to the height of the base letter. I expect Word 2010 to do even better. But there are still potential problems. Perhaps most importantly, you should make sure that the font you are using contains U+0302. Support is rather wide, but not universal, see http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/302/fontsupport.htm

For example, if your text font is Palatino Linotype, the results will be very bad: since the font does not contain U+0302, Word will pick it up from a different font, and both the shape and the placement of the circumflex can be all wrong then.

Even for some non-vowel characters, a “precombined” character with the circumflex accent is available. For example, instead of ŝ (s followed by U+0302), you can enter U+15D Alt X and get ŝ (= U+015D). In modern versions of Word, the appearance is normally the same as with the one using U+0302, but the renderings might work, so it is probably safest to use U+0302 for all combinations, if you cannot use precombined characters for all combinations that you need.

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I just want to mention, as I'm using the french version of Word, that I had to use ALT + C instead of ALT + X to get the expected result. –  Jérôme May 2 '12 at 11:24
    
@Jérôme, thanks for the information—it’s good to know about this feature. I first thought it might be a configuration issue or something special, but the document Unicode 5.0 en pratique – Concepts de base et terminologie hapax.qc.ca/dunod/Unicode_Chap_1.pdf describes it as a general difference between language versions: English version of Word uses Alt X, French version uses Alt C. –  Jukka K. Korpela May 2 '12 at 12:34

You can just press the key for the symbol (the location depends on your keyboard layout) and then i, the symbol will be automatically inserted on top of the letter.

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thanks. My question was not clear enough : I would like to be able to put the accent on top of any letter, not only vowels. –  Jérôme May 2 '12 at 8:31

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